Farmers and farmland contribute to Arkansas’ largest industry, accounting for nearly 16 billion dollars towards the state’s economy each year. There are over 47,500 farms that cover almost 45 percent of the land area of our state. With that being said, it is obvious that with the increased number of farms that there are going to be an influx of workers, which also means that these workers are susceptible to injuries.
Common Farm Injuries in Arkansas
Agriculture and farming are some of the most dangerous jobs to have. However, despite the danger that working on a farm entails, there is almost nothing that is more vital than farming. Farming is often a job that runs in the family, and it is common for families to work on a farm together. However in addition to the number of people who work on a farm as part of a family tradition, there are an estimated 1.4 to 2.1 million individuals who are hired to be crop workers on an annual or season basis. With such a dramatic number of workers, there is naturally a large number of people who are either injured or even killed as a result of a farm personal injury accident. However, there are some injuries that are more common than others and include the following:
Here are some of the most common types of serious farm accidents and farm accident injuries:
- Animal injury – Some farms are designated for crops, while others grow crops and raise livestock. It is impossible to predict how an animal will behave in any given situation, therefore it is common that animals pose a threat to those who work on.
- Tractor overturns – Tractors are usually an essential part of a farm. However, these vehicles pose a great threat to farm workers. They have been identified by the national Coalition for Agricultural Safety and Health as the leading cause of deaths for farm workers.
- Other machinery – To work on a farm and to make the land effective requires that a farmer learns how to use a variety of machinery. However, farm machinery other than tractors has been shown to be another leading cause of injuries to farm workers. Most of these injuries occurred when a worker was making a repair to the machine.
- Respiratory disease – This may seem shocking to those who are not farmers themselves, however, respiratory illness and disease is a common ailment plaguing the farm-worker community. Those workers who work in grain and corn silos have shown a higher incidence rate of respiratory illness and disease.
- Falls – While falls are common to almost every profession, working on a farm often requires workers to climb on structures, which leads to a higher rate of falls and injuries.
- Pesticide Toxicity – Using pesticides is a controversial subject for many, however, it is a reality that many farms across Arkansas use pesticides to keep their crops fresh. However, these pesticides can be toxic to humans. Farm workers who are constantly exposed to these chemicals can suffer from acute and chronic toxic reactions.
- Stress injuries – Stress injuries are a common ailment plaguing farm industry workers.
Unfortunately, the list of injuries that dangers that farm workers are at risk of is almost endless. However, many of these injuries can be prevented and therefore those who are injured often feel that they should be able to sue the farm and the owners for their injuries.
While it is true that some farming accidents are actually accidents that are impossible to predict, others can be prevented and often serves as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Often the basis of a farming lawsuit is when the worker claims that the owner, manager, or product manufacturer was negligent in some form.
Claims Available to Farmers in Arkansas
Whenever you or a loved one is injured in an accident, it is going to cause a change in your life. You may find that you are unable to work and may wonder if they can qualify for workers compensation. Unfortunately, the workers compensation laws in Arkansas explicitly exclude farmers and farm workers from coverage. However, that does not mean that you will not be able to recover for your injuries. Most personal injury cases allow an injured worker to recover for their injuries by proving that another party was negligent, and therefore should have to pay for their injuries. Some of the examples of how someone in the agricultural industry can be negligent include:
- A farm equipment manufacturing company does not put adequate warnings on their products.
- A piece of farming equipment is defective or dangerous.
- A farm employer, owner, or operator removes safety devices, such as shields, from a piece of equipment.
- A farm employer does not properly train workers to use the farm equipment.
- A farm employer does not discontinue the use of a broken or faulty piece of equipment.
However, no matter how you were injured in order to recover for any of your injuries you generally will need to prove that the owner or worker owed you a duty, they breached that duty, because of the breach you were injured and that you suffered some damages as a result of your accident.
Fayetteville Personal Injury Attorney Ken Kieklak Can Handle Your Farming Injury
For more than 20 years Ken Kieklak has fought for hard-working Arkansans injured by another person. If you have been seriously hurt because of another person’s negligence, Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak can fight to hold them financially responsible for your injuries. To schedule your free and confidential personal injury consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.